PAUs Potato Processing Technologies to Save Farmers from Financial Crunch
Giving impetus to its efforts towards saving farmers from financial crunch, the Punjab Agricultural University is organizing a training programme on potato processing from 29th January to 31st January, 2019 for preparation of different value added products. The department is emphasizing on low cost technologies which can be adopted at farm gate and house hold level.
Giving information about the same, Dr Poonam Sachdev, Head, Department of Food Science and Technology informed that Punjab stands 6th in potato production in India, contributing to 5.3% of total production. She added that since potato is a perishable commodity, inadequacies in its storage, handling and non-availability of processing grade potato in our country has resulted in frequent gluts in the market causing economic loss to the farmers and wastage of precious food.
“In such situations, it really becomes a challenge to help the farmer realize even his input cost of potato cultivation and production. In view of the above situation, the Department of Food Science and Technology, PAU, Ludhiana has developed inexpensive technologies for the production of low cost diverse potato products (Aloo wari, potato flour, Aloo bhujia,. potato papad, potato chakli and potato-maize chips) which can help the farmers to get out of financial crunch. We have the technology for preparation of dehydrated potato fingers, cubes and potato flour. Dehydrated potato products have 18 months shelf life and when reconstituted retain the fresh like flavor and this potato mash can be further used for making potato based snacks andaloo parantha. We have also developed extruded snacks in which one-third portion of potato is used. We are working on the technology for preparation of potato starch from non-commercial potato varieties. From this starch, soups and custard powder will be prepared. The department is also working on the technology for preparation of potato noodles and pasta. Canning facilities for preparation of ready-to-use canned potatoes (whole cubes or curried) and frozen facilities for preparation of french fries, frozen cubes and frozen ready to fry potato based snacks have also been developed. Farmers, farm women, rural youth and progressive entrepreneurs are provided with hands on training and facilities on processing and value addition of potato in Food Industry Business Incubation Centre, PAU. Moreover, the processed potato products will serve as a means to increase its use in off season along with their high nutritional value. These products are easy to prepare and can be scaled up for commercial ventures,” informed Dr Sachdev.